GCAP CoolCast: Garden City Ammonia Program

What Do You Make?

by on Feb.05, 2015, under News

Recently we came across a YouTube video where a teacher named Taylor Mali responded to a rude dinner guest who asked “What do teachers make?”

The video is below and you should watch it:

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As educators ourselves, we get the point that Taylor is making and generally applaud it. Some teachers do indeed make a difference – a very real difference – in the lives of their students. Taylor is taking a question that was made about his income and re-directing it to what he actually does for a living. Yes, teachers can make a difference – but some don’t. For that matter, there are plenty of lawyers that make a difference too.

Ultimately we should judge people by what they accomplish – not what their “profession” or job title is. With the rise of the college graduates since World War II, it’s our opinion that people have forgotten the value of real work. While there are some great people out there like Mike Rowe who are praising the value of the skilled trades, work defined as “blue collar” feels as if it’s looked down on.

Thankfully, the vast majority of the people in the skilled trades aren’t the kind of people that need a pat on the back on an hourly basis. They’re the self-motivated people who take pride in a job – ANY job – well done. There’s a story from 1961 where President John F. Kennedy was said to be touring the NASA headquarters during the race to put a man on the moon. JFK was said to stop a man holding a mop – a janitor – what he did at the facility. The man’s response was “Sir, I’m helping to put a man on the moon.”

Years ago, while working at a facility that made Ice Cream, we had a tour of grade-school children come through to see how an Ice Cream factory operated. When the kids left, the Plant Manager said something to me that I’ll never forget: “Did you see their faces when they tried the ice cream right out of the freezer? Man, we don’t make Ice Cream. We make smiles!”

That thinking – knowing that you are part of a larger project and exerting your best personal effort to do your part – that’s what makes the skilled trades a pleasure to work with. In the skilled trades, you’re still judged by the quality of your work rather than your credentials or your history. Nobody cares how many classes you took if you can’t trouble-shoot the broken machine! You’re judged by whether you can get the machine running when it’s supposed to be running and how it’s supposed to be running.

“Thank you for letting us be part of your success!”

You can check out Mike Rowe’s website for more information on his foundation promoting the skilled trades.

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Can Refrigeration Work Without Refrigerant?

by on Feb.04, 2015, under News

Scenario:  Manufacturing is shutdown for long holiday weekend.  Upon their return after the long holiday weekend, the refrigeration techs find the refrigeration process shutdown and they are unable to restart the system for some reason.  They call in their refrigeration contractor who determines that the system is EMPTY – NO NH3!  The facility assumes that a PSV must have failed prematurely and thus changed all their PSV over the next three months; only to find out later that the release was caused by the failure of a high pressure cutout switch on the ammonia refrigeration compressor(s) which occurred due to inadequate preventative maintenance of the anhydrous ammonia refrigeration system and inadequate procedures and checklists for checks of the system by weekend operators.

Imagine loosing your entire charge over a three day weekend… and your technicians trying to restart the process upon their return and none of them being wise to the fact that the process is EMPTY.  EPA’s solution was a SEP that requires the company to change from NH3 refrigeration to a hydro-chlorofluorocarbon (“HCFC”) refrigerant.

Here how it went down… 


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Ammonia Operator I @ Logan, Utah

by on Jan.26, 2015, under News

GCAP will be hosting an Ammonia Operator I Seminar at Bridgerland Applied Technology College.

The mission of the Bridgerland Applied Technology College is to deliver competency-based, employer-guided career and technical education to both secondary and post-secondary students through traditional and technology-enhanced methodologies. This hands-on technical education provides occupational education, skills training, and workforce development to support the educational and economic development of the Bear River Region.

batcMay 4 – 7, 2015

Seats are limited, Register Today

Logan Utah

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CSB Releases Safety Bulletin on Anhydrous Ammonia Incident

by on Jan.15, 2015, under News

January 15, 2014, East Rutherford, NJ – Today the U.S. Chemical Safety Board released a safety bulletin intended to inform industries that utilize anhydrous ammonia in bulk refrigeration operations on how to avoid a hazard referred to as hydraulic shock.  The safety lessons were derived from an investigation into a 2010 anhydrous ammonia release that occurred at Millard Refrigerated Services Inc., located in Theodore, Alabama.

This abnormal transient condition results in a sharp pressure rise with the potential to cause catastrophic failure of piping, valves, and other components – often prior to a hydraulic shock incident there is an audible “hammering” in refrigeration piping. The incident at Millard caused a roof-mounted 12-inch suction pipe to catastrophically fail, resulting in the release of more than 32,000 pounds of anhydrous ammonia.

Chairperson Rafael Moure-Eraso said, “The CSB believes that if companies in the ammonia refrigeration industry follow the key lessons from its investigation into the accident at Millard Refrigeration Services, dangerous hydraulic shock events can be avoided – preventing injuries, environmental damage, and potential fatalities.”

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2015 GCAP Training Tour

by on Jan.12, 2015, under News

2015 GCAP Training Tour

GCAP has been involved in industrial training since 2003. We travel across the world to meet your training needs.

We are looking for 12 different locations in 2015 to host an Ammonia Operator I / Boiler Level 1 / or PSM/RMP course seminars.

Look where GCAP has been over the last decade

If you or your company would like to host one of these seminars, GCAP is looking for participants. Please contact Kristen De La Pena of GCAP to see the requirements. 620.271.0037 or ammonia@Pld.com

  • January 26 – 29, 2015: PSM/RMP @ Clovis, CA
  • January 26 – 29, 2015: Ammonia Operator I @ Phoenix, AZ
  • February 9 – 12, 2015: Ammonia Operator I @ Bakersfield, CA
  • February 16 – 19, 2015: PSM/RMP @ Denedin, FL
  • February 23 – 26, 2015: PSM/RMP @ Fort Worth, TX
  • June  29 – July 2, 2015: Ammonia Operator II @ Bakersfield, CARegister Today 

Look for GCAP coming to a city or area near you.

Chicago, IL

Cincinnati, OH

Minneapolis, MN

Grand Rapids, MI

Harrisburg, PA

Columbia, SC

Raleigh, NC

Macom, GA

Montgomery, AL

Houston, TX

Vancouver, WA

Salt Lake City, UT

Anchorage, AK

GCAP's Classroom 3.1

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GCAP’s Wrap Up of 2014

by on Dec.15, 2014, under News

GCAP’s New Classroom Finished

What a way to finish 2014.  Thank you all for your support and GCAP’s staff to make opening doors of our new expansion possible this year.  We will be hosting our first class in the new classroom starting this week.

Click Here for the 2014 News Update

GCAP's New Classroom

GCAP's New Classroom 2

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GCAP is looking for an Industrial Electrician

by on Dec.10, 2014, under News

GCAP is growing with industry demand.  We are currently looking for an industrial electrician to become part of our team.  This position would be involved with day to operation and expansion related to all electrical needed at our facility with chances of also moving into an instructor position for current and future classes.

Key Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Run conduit, wiring, hook-up disconnects, switches, push buttons, circuit panels, breakers, suppressors, transformers
  • Read engineering drawings and schematics; while also keeping them up to date
  • Maintain and troubleshoot PLC sensors
  • Troubleshoot electrical problems on all refrigeration equipment
  • Assist in general construction duties
  • Assist as a Support Instructor and move into Lead Instructor Status

Send Resume to ammonia@pld.com attention Electrician Position

Come be apart of the best team in the industry!

GCAP Staff

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Free Ammonia Refrigeration Online Training

by on Dec.08, 2014, under News

We just wanted to let everyone know that Garden City Ammonia Program (GCAP) has largest discussion forums in the industry through Linkedin.  Linkedin.com is a professional website that allows posting of resumes, discussions, and news that could be related to your industry.

GCAP has created groups called “Ammonia Refrigeration Operators”,  “Boiler Operators”, and “Natural Refrigerants”.   These groups are designed for anybody in field of Ammonia Refrigeration or Boiler Operations.  We have started to get a collection of operators, engineers, managers, safety manager, OSHA, EPA, etc… to join the group.  We now have over 12,000 total members.

We are inviting you to come check it out.  You can read discussions, news and/or create you own discussions of information pertaining to the industry. Over 100 videos have been submitted directly relating to ammonia and boilers.  You can also help by giving answers to questions posted to the group.  We believe this group will increase your connections in the industry.

  • If interested in joining “Ammonia Refrigeration Operators” go to this direct link.


  • For the group “Boiler Operators” you can go to this direct link.


  • For the group “Natural Refrigerants” go to this direct link.


If that does not work for you, you can also join by going to their home page. www.linkedin.com. Create your profile by submitting your email address and a password.  Search for: “Ammonia Refrigeration Operators” in the group tab. Once you find the group, request to join. Your request to join the group will be sent to us and we will confirm you as a member.

Thanks for you time and wish you the best of luck for 2015 from the staff here at GCAP

Jeremy Williams, GCAP
Directing Manager / Instructor

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30 Years Later: CSB Safety Message Warns it Could Happen Again

by on Dec.02, 2014, under News

The video entitled “Reflections on Bhopal After Thirty Years” chronicles how on December 2, 1984, water inadvertently entered a storage tank containing more than 80,000 pounds of methyl isocyanate, or MIC, which reacts react violently with water.  A subsequent runaway reaction overheated the tank and resulted in a massive toxic gas release. A dense, lethal cloud drifted over the city of Bhopal exposing hundreds of thousands of people to deadly MIC and other chemicals.

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An estimated 3,800 people died immediately, and tens of thousands were injured. Eventually thousands more died from toxic gas-related illnesses – the release eventually killed tens of thousands of people.

In the wake of Bhopal, Congress enacted new laws to increase chemical emergency preparedness and to require companies to develop process safety and risk management programs, and to report their worst-case release scenarios.  Congress also established the Chemical Safety Board to independently investigate chemical accidents and recommend measures to prevent such catastrophic accidents.  But despite these actions in the 1990’s, the United States continues to experience serious chemical accidents.

In the video, CSB Chairperson Rafael Moure-Eraso says, “Process safety management regulations are in need of reform. There must be more emphasis on preventing the occurrence of major chemical accidents through safer design. Responding to emergencies and punishing people after the fact are not enough.

In the past few years, CSB investigations have found deficiencies in design and process safety management similar to those uncovered in Bhopal. The video points out that a 2008 explosion killing two workers and injuring eight others at a pesticide plant in Institute, West Virginia found that incomplete operator training and procedures similar to Union Carbide’s at Bhopal.

Furthermore, had the Institute plant vessel that exploded taken a different trajectory, pieces of it could have struck piping connected to a storage tank containing 13,700 pounds of MIC, potentially causing a large release of the same highly toxic chemical that killed thousands in Bhopal.

The safety message discusses a number of additional accidents currently investigated or previously investigated by the CSB which ultimately could have been prevented had current federal and state regulations focused on preventative measures or continuously reducing process risks.

To enhance safety in the chemical industry, the Board has voted to include “Modernize U.S. Process Safety Management Regulations” on the CSB’s list of most wanted safety improvements.

Chairperson Rafael Moure-Eraso concludes the video with the following call to industry and regulators, “Since Bhopal, both industry and government have increased their efforts to prevent major chemical accidents. But multiple CSB investigations show that much more needs to be done to assure that future tragedies will be avoided.”

The CSB is an independent federal agency charged with investigating serious chemical accidents. The agency’s board members are appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate. CSB investigations look into all aspects of chemical accidents, including physical causes such as equipment failure as well as inadequacies in regulations, industry standards, and safety management systems.

The Board does not issue citations or fines but does make safety recommendations to plants, industry organizations, labor groups, and regulatory agencies such as OSHA and EPA. Visit our website, www.csb.gov.  For more information, contact public@csb.gov.

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PSM Opportunity @ GCAP

by on Nov.18, 2014, under News

Do you have a passion for Ammonia Process Safety Management? Do you feel you have more to offer the Ammonia PSM community than you can at your current position?

GCAP is looking to expand our compliance team through the addition to our staff of an additional full time traveling instructor. You’ll travel all over the United States and work with the best customers in the business. From grocery store warehouses to synthetic rubber plants and food processors, if they use ammonia in a PSM/RMP covered process, you’ll visit them eventually. You’ll be part of a team assisting PSM practitioners as they perform Process Hazard Analysis Studies, Compliance Audits and even OSHA/EPA citation abatements.

You may well travel 80% of the time. You’ll work long days and nights. While GCAP offers a steady income, it will give you the chance to be part of the best team in the industry and get out from behind a desk. But if you’re willing to get out from behind the desk – if you’re willing to commit to helping our industry by becoming a traveling member of the GCAP staff, we can promise you something more: Satisfaction. A chance for promotion and becoming lead in GCAP’s other division courses as well!

  • The satisfaction you get when you help people struggling with PSM finally understand it.
  • The satisfaction you get when you assist people in getting their OSHA/EPA problems behind them so they can get back to their core business.
  • The satisfaction you get when you realize you’ve made a difference in hundreds of companies across this great country.
  • GCAP provides the training. GCAP provides the travel and accommodations. You provide the passion!

Contact us and send resume to:

Subject: PSM Position


Garden City Ammonia Program


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